Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

  • Word of the Day
    gratuitous

    gr@ tu ih t@s  [or]  grae tu ih t@s

    adjective
    1.  given or done without sufficient reason or justification; unwarranted.
    The movie’s gratuitous violence earned it low ratings from critics.

    2.  given or received without charge or cost.
    The company offers gratuitous shipping with large orders.

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  • Vocabulary of the Day
    pathetic

    p@ the tihk

    adjective
    1.  arousing feelings of pity, sorrow, or tender concern.
    The baby’s pathetic crying was due to both hunger and cold.
    The limping dog was a pathetic sight.

    2.  miserably ineffective or inadequate; worthy of arousing scorn or ridicule.
    You did a pathetic job of fixing this–look! It’s still leaking!
    I’ve always been a pathetic housekeeper, so I finally hired a cleaner.
    Your attempts to get our sympathy is pathetic!
    He’s pathetic at playing tennis; he’s always hitting the ball straight over the fence.

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Jun
19
2013

nepotism

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

nepotism

netih zəm

noun

favoritism shown to a near relative, as in preferential hiring or patronage.
example: The governor was accused of nepotism after he hired his mother to fill a top position.

Word Origin

The word “nepotism” has its origins in the Latin word for “nephew.” Why are nephews at the root of this word and not sons? The word was first used in English in the fourteenth century to refer to preferential hiring by the Pope, whose closest descendants as a celibate representative of the Catholic Church would be his brothers’ sons, his nephews.